Over an extended weekend the Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten (LGS) held their first SWA Discovery at the end of November 2009 at their national training centre and Scout of the World Base in Neihaischen. The LGS have a 20 year history with development projects that involve the Rover Scout section, every three to four years many members depart to regions in need of development to work with local Scouts or other youth organizations. This part of the Rover Scout program has now been adapted and integrated into the Scout of the World Program.
Around 120 participants form the RaRo (Rangers and Rovers) section, staff and experts gathered to hold their first of two preparation weekends as SWA Discovery to plan and prepare five different Odyssees (name retained for the LGSs’ SWA Voluntary Projects).
All together the many participants learned about the Millennium Development Goals, the global fight against poverty, war and environmental destruction of Scouts around the world, the history of development work done by Guides and Scouts in Luxembourg, the medical and cultural challenges that a voluntary services can show and the support that the projects will get from institutions like of the LGS’s very own NGO, the youth in action program or the governmental bodies.
In a second stage the participants were split into the five projects to plan and discover in more details the challenged that they will face. This consisted of some very hands-on workshops like “how to plan trees in topical conditions (with tuition from the national forest administration), how to lay bricks, etc. The different projects that were chosen to be the first Odyssees to be part of the Scout of the World Program are:
- Vietnam: Building sanitary installations, installing water pipes and executing a reforestation plan in the Quan Ba area in north of Vietnam. Organizing workshops with the youth organization Youth Union to increase intercultural learning.
- Senegal: In Mboro a group will help a local association that works with disabled to set up educational program and increase awareness of the rights of disabled children in Africa. Another group that will be travelling to Senegal will join local youth to build a training centre in Thiès where adolescences will be able to learn crafts.
- Boliva: In Bolivia some links with the local scouts have been made and a school and library should be renovated and a ecological park will be installed in Bella Vista
- Bosnia: This is a cultural exchange program, which in 2006 has joined youth of different faith to rebuild a mosque. In 2010 a ruined orthodox church will be renovated and intercultural workshops will again be organized.
Over 2010 about 20% of all the associations Rangers and Rover Scouts will depart on one of the five Odyssee project, a major achievement of the young and dynamic coordination team. A majority of the services will be planned and organized by the youth themselves.
During March the second part of the SWA Discovery will be held at the same site to further deepen the planning, preparation and organization of the projects.
This article was prepared by Frantzen Claude from Luxemburg. The photos were produced by Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten - Luxembourg Guides and Scouts.
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